There Are Some Things You Just Can’t Improve

I always look forward to reading the What’s Going On at Conran blog and a recent post made me think about design very carefully. They quoted Sir Terence Conran’s affection for ‘plain, simple and useful’ designs.

Being able to really look at something in its stripped down form is one of the most useful things to do before embarking on any kind of project and you will probably find that there are some things which cannot be improved upon. No embellishment, no tweaks required, full stop. This post is a bit different from my usual ramblings as its about some of my favourite things – perfect exactly the way they are.

Perhaps its the colour, perhaps its their simplistic form but stumbling across a rambling mass of forget-me-nots never fails to stop me in my tracks.

Despite living in a city like Edinburgh crammed full of art galleries, museumssculpture parks and stunning architecture , I still need to get into ‘the wilds’ now and again. Last weekend I was in Perthshire and amazingly you can reach the foot of Ben Vracky by car from Edinburgh in 90 minutes.

This is the start of the walk – complete with gurgling burn running next to the path. Can this be improved? I don’t think so.

Half way up the mountain you look down and see the extraordinary colours of the landscape. I’m not quite sure why the vegetation changes so abruptly here, perhaps its the change in altitude, perhaps its the edge of controlled burning, but for a colour boffin, its pure joy.

Higher again and you can see see the weather moving in – in this case snow is coming.

Reaching the summit of any mountain metaphorical or physical is a feeling that is impossible to better, but standing on the summit of Ben Vracky surrounded by swirling snow (in May) has to be one of life’s greatest feelings (provided you are properly kitted out of course).

From mountain top to river bed and the pass of Killiecrankie. Standing on the steep rocks at Soldiers Leap you can watch the river Garry crash through the pass and fracture into a million droplets.

and a packed lunch sitting on the river bed surrounded by rocks that would not look out of place in the most fashionable city art gallery.

Beautiful, simple things which are out there, to look at, for free. You can’t beat that.

Now, on a different note, some very kind fellow bloggers have awarded me some lovely blog awards. I’m afraid, I didn’t really know what to do with them at first so its taken me a while to even acknowledge them for which I must apologise. I am only mentioning this in order to thank the people who have given me them – I’m not wanting to show-off about them!

The first one ‘Hope Unites Globally HUG Award’ came from the very kind This Mans Journey blog. Then the amazingly talented food writer, Kellie from Food to Glow has awarded me the ‘Versatile Blogger Award’ . You must try some of Kellie’s recipes, apart from all being super healthy, they are all bursting with flavours and are absolutely mouth watering (as is her photography). Patricia from deCamville Design has awarded me a ‘Beautiful Blogger Award’ so a big thank you fellow bloggers for your generous awards.

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18 thoughts on “There Are Some Things You Just Can’t Improve

    • Thanks, yes its a really beautiful place and its great to think that the UK is full of a million other equally beautiful places too. I think its important to keep remembering to ‘go out there’ as often as possible. :)

  1. How beautiful it all looks, those rocks are so lovely and stripy and forget-me-nots always make me stop too, they can grow in the most unexpected places.:)

    • I know, the stripy rocks made me want to design some cashmere throws just like them! I have dug out some forget-me-nots from my parents gardens and I plan to keep them in my gardens and then dig some out when my own kids have a garden and keep passing them on and on. Hope your daughters exams are going well. My son has sat 2 of his now, 6 to go!

  2. Gorgeous images & reminder that nature doesn’t need tweaking. Especially love the fractured droplets. Look almost like hail. and thank you for the extremely kind words. You deserve any and all awards and praise heaped upon you. But you are far to modest to agree. Part of your charm!

  3. Still can’t believe we met you – or that we ‘d not even started and there you were having been up and down and still lking sprightly! What fabulous pictures – didn’t even notice that amazing colour change but loved the sun and snow and the beautiful tree lined walk……mmmm loving rock inspired striped cashmere throws!

    • I know! I’ve been telling everyone about how we bumped into each other up a mountain – how totally amazing, but that’s Scotland for you!
      Actually I have made contact with a fantastic Scottish Mill that produces the most exquisite cashmere you have ever seen and they can do bespoke so watch this space! Actually, its quite exciting because the Scottish textile mills are really having a revival – they are making stuff for the top designers around the world, its just us Scots that don’t seem to know that! Seriously, can you name a Scottish Mill? I couldn’t until I researched it and the things they can do are utterly staggering. Exciting times. Is David involved in Mill regeneration?

  4. Today, you gave us the best kind of “HUG,” the one that inspires and motivates. Something that uplifts our spirits via the beautiful and calm images you shared so generously. I agree in the beauty of simple things. Of letting nature be as it is. Pure, untarnished, a mirror of the Earth’s magic. Thank you for sharing these…just amazing!

    • What a great comment to start the day with, you are so kind. Its great to see your photos too because seeing other parts of the earth which are so far from here is both interesting and inspiring, thank you.

  5. I LOVE the big rock on the last picture – it reminds me a bit of a snail :-)

    I also can’t walk by forget-me-nots without stopping and admiring their cheery little blue & yellow faces :-) I have no idea what kind of plant it is, but there’s plant in our front garden that grows forget-me-not lookalikes in the spring. It’s in bloom right now, and I just love it :-)

    Nature is the best art gallery – just look at all the fabulous scenery and colours that were all around you :-)

    Congrats on all your awards!

    • Oh I know, they are ultra cheery aren’t they and they all vary a little too, love em! I adore that big stone too, it has set me off on a real design mission actually – in the form of cashmere. Wouldn’t that be great to translate a hard stone into soft cashmere but keep the integrity of its design….
      Thanks about the awards. I’m not sure how they all work actually, you must get zillions for your blog but the main thing is I’ve mentioned my ‘givers’ :)

  6. LOVE this post so much. Wish I’d been there to take that walk with you. Every time I walk in nature — every single time — I see a color or texture or contrast that is so utterly beautiful as is. That striped rock is the best!

    I studied interior design here in NY and our color teacher was a terrifying Swiss woman….but she left us with such a wise comment: any time you lack inspiration or ideas, go for a walk in nature as it’s all there if you look for/at it carefully.

    Keep me in mind for your cashmere!

    • Thanks Caitlin. Yes, your teacher was so right wasn’t she. I think you can look in any direction and see fabulous colours especially when you are out in the countryside – just makes me want to get ‘out there’ as much as possible.
      I must remember to take an extra memory stick when I go to Marin County!

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